This morning I experienced one of those moments in my prayer time that was, for me, an epiphany of sorts. I just wanted to share with you briefly what this experienced entailed.
After my prayers, I spent about ten minutes or so reading scripture, as well as some of the inspirational quotations I keep in a notebook, gleaned from a large number of writers. I have gathered these wise words over the course of the last 30 years and they are the source I normally draw upon when I post “Wise Words for Today” on this site.
First, I read the following quotation from Watchman Nee:
Because the Lord Jesus died on the Cross, I have received forgiveness of sins; because the Lord Jesus rose from the dead, I have received new life; because the Lord Jesus has been eexalted to the right hand of the Father, I have received the outpoured Spirit. All is because of him; nothing is because of me. Remission of sins is not based on human merit, but the Lord’s crucifixion; regeneration is no based on human merit, but on the Lord’s resurrection; and the enduement with the Holy Spirit is not based on human merit, but on the Lord’s exaltation. The Holy Spirit has not been poured out on you or me to prove how great we are, but to prove the greatness of the Son of God.
I have read these words many times before and have written similar things in the past, but for some reason only known and authored by God, these teachings hit me at a deeper level than every before. It is hard to put into words how this really felt, but it was a profound experience for me personally. Further, I think it pave the way for what came next.
Next, I moved on to the scripture reading time of my quiet time and read the following words from Ephesians 4:10
And the same one who descended is the one who ascended higher than all the heavens, so that he might fill the entire universe with himself.
I can’t imagine how many times I had read these words before, because the fourth chapter of Ephesians is one of the most powerful portions of scripture, especially for achieving unity in the church. This time, however, the Holy Spirit caused these words to go deep into my heart and my spirit. I was moved deeply by what these words meant to me.
Christ not only ascended back into heaven and was seated at the right hand of the Father. He ascended higher that all the heavens (many scholars say there are seven heavens) and he did this so that he could penetrated and become a part of everything that exists. What this means is that Christ is now in all things and, in some mysterious way known only to God, this changes all things. I had the sense that Christ now is a part of all of creation in a very real and physical way and is drawing all things toward himself. It is a mind boggling concept and it is clearly scriptural.
What makes all this even more fascinating is that later in the day, in a phone conversation with a dear friend of mine who is heavily involved in the New Age Movement and I was able to use both the insights from Ephesians 4:10 and from Watchman Nee in giving him a perspective on how Christ was the Light that he kept referring to when he repeatedely told me that his spiritual path was centered on becoming connected with “the Light that is the creative force in all things.”
He was blown away when I asked him to read Ephesians 4:10. I later sent him an email with the quotation from Nee and later he contacted me, thanked me, and told me I had given him a lot to reflect on.
I have been convinced for months that this friend wants to return to the church, but is looking for some point of connection between the path he is walking and the teachings of Christ. I also asked him to read the events in the 17th chapter of Acts, which describes Paul’s discussion with the philosophers about the shrine to the “unknown God.” I think he was grateful that like Paul, I did not attack his spiritual beliefs, but instead, used them as a jumping off point to present the case for Christ.
It has been a good day.
Also, today is the Mid-Autumn Festival in China and, as my wife is Chinese, we are celebrating. We have the traditional “moon cakes,” which I don’t really care for. When living in China I did find, however, that if you leave a small, round moon cake in your refrigerator for a couple of months, it turns into a great hockey puck.
Like I said, it has been a good day.